Chopin Preludes, opus 28‏

by richibi

you will remember surely preludes from Bach’s
Well-Tempered Clavier, but as indeed an
introduction to, there, fugues  
it might be interesting to note that preludes
were originally ditties instrumentalists cooked up,
spontaneously and improvisationally, to warm up
and tune their muse, one would expect the form
then to be short, sweet and pithy
and, by definition, unfinished, which is why Bach
added the fugue  
Chopin in 1839 gets them to stand alone, they 
have become by then of course entirely stylized,
less improvisational than formal  
Chopin gives them their rightful eminence by simply
validating their claim to the role, they have no trouble
at all standing forthrightly in the footlights, and are
even still individually commanding, unblemished yet
by the infelicities of most lacerating time   
like Bach they are still an intellectual exercise, there’s
a prelude for every key, all 24 of them, major and minor, 
like the “Études”, they are technical challenges to the
pianist, an Everest to climb, the work of an eminently
able nevertheless practitioner who didn’t shirk at 
challenging himself heroically, though surely goaded
by the most magnanimous, if unrelenting, of gods
others of course took up the contest for the sake of
both the prestidigitational Olympics his compositions 
represented as well as for itself the rapturous music, 
works for the deftest of fingers as well as for the
newly stranded, existentially unfettered and
hungering, 19th-Century soul   
you’ll note the humanity that didn’t appear in Mozart,
the intensely emotional appeal of both a more ardent
fury, a tip of the hat here to Beethoven, and a more
melting, sentimental tone  
incidentally I find Chopin infinitely more aristocratic
than Mozart ever, despite being the epitome of the
more democratic Romanticism, whereas it had been 
the more unruly Mozart who’d written for the
“Classical” courts 
Haydn is temperamentally the only other so courtly
composer, appropriately and most efficiently fitting
in his case his own Classical mold, even up until now,
no others have had that distinct personal pedigree 
allow me to submit my prose therefore to your most
good and gentle graces, as well as the illustrious
music contained therein
psst: here‘s a version played in a castle, noteworthy
         for its aristocratic allusions not to mention its
         accomplished artistry